The more I look back on the past year and my summer teaching experiences, the more I realize that I feel like I have been thinking like a teacher up until this point. Largely, I was still stuck in the mind frame of a student; I have been more focused on the “what” rather than the “how” and “why,” which in my opinion really get at the roots of teaching. Over the course of this semester, I have certainly developed immensely in many different areas and directions. I am stronger musician and person than I have ever been. But I think my biggest area of improvement is in thinking about teaching.
My Principles of Music Education course this semester with Dr. Mitchell Robinson has been highly enlightening. I can safely say that after each class there are new and exciting questions passing through my mind about aspects of teaching and music that I have never considered. In way, having more questions to answer is a scary prospect; I know I simply won’t be able to know everything there is to know about teaching music when I graduate from Michigan State. What I do know, however is that every day I am gaining the skills and drive to answer those questions, better myself, and ask even more.
Within that class I have been placed in a general elementary music class in Bennett Woods Elementary School that I visit on a weekly basis with other music education students. Mrs. Kurzeja is an absolute joy to watch. When I decided to pursue music education, elementary general music is something I never thought I could enjoy. But now, I have to admit I have really enjoyed participating in her classes. Just goes to show you that you never know until you try.
It’s amazing that the semester is almost over, and I look forward to finishing it out strong and heading home to Maryland where I hope to get a chance to talk about teaching with the teachers that inspired me to take this path.